Prisons reopen for visitors on November 1, 2021.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections announced that all state prisons will reopen to visitors on November 1, 2021. This comes after a three-month-long moratorium. Visitation was originally stopped on July 27 due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

MDOC Commissioner Burl Cain

Commissioner Cain said, “Given the drop in COVID cases, it is appropriate and beneficial for inmates to be able to see their relatives and reopening will also allow for them to participate in more programs.  We’re trying to return to normal but not too fast.  Fortunately, we had some of the lowest rates of inmate COVID cases in the nation and it’s because we took the initiative to sanitize and vaccinate.”

“The decision is based on discussions with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, community data from the Mississippi Department of Health and MDOC Medical Providers, as well as MDOC’s vaccine administration at each facility.  COVID cases are trending down and we feel visitation is safe for inmates with the COVID protocols we have in place,” said Deputy Commissioner of Institutions Jeworski Mallett.

New protocols for visitors include: social distancing, wearing a mask, temperature checks at every entry point and answering a series of COVID-19 screening questions.

Inmates will also have to wear masks and be checked for temperature.  Visitation areas will be sanitized with electrostatic sprayers and will have hand sanitizing stations.